A historic town
Lixouri is the second largest town on the Ionian island of Kefalonia, dwarfed only by Argostoli, the capital. The whole island is rather sleepy though, so Lixouri continues to offer a tranquil holiday with traditional Greek tavernas on your doorstep.
Built on the site of the ancient town of Pali, a couple of historic mansions survive to this day and can be admired by the many holidaymakers who flock to the town for sunshine and culture.
The main square of Plateia Petritsi is a good place to start exploring the area. Surrounded by old-fashioned cafes, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee amid the sounds of the talented local buskers. From here you can explore the side streets with their tavernas and churches, along with the harbour and seafront restaurants. The Archeological Museum and impressive Monastry of Ki Poureon are both top things to do in the town.
A bevvy of beaches nearby
Lixouri is dominated by the harbour and ferry port so holidaymakers must travel a couple of kilometres down the coast to find expansive beaches. The best nearby is Lepeda Beach, unique for its orange-coloured waters which it gets from the red sands.
It stretches for 100 metres south of the town and impresses visitors with its stunning views to the gulf of Argostoli, the Saint Theodori lighthouse and Mount Aenos on the other side of the island – the highest mountain in the Ionian Islands in fact. Sunbeds and snack bars are available, and if you can tear yourself away from the beach, a hidden church is carved into a cave just a few steps back from the shore.
Other nearby beaches include Xi, Mega Lakos and Petani Beach. Xi beach, a 15-minute drive from Lixouri, takes its name from the 'X' shaped cove in the bay. Like Lixouri, it shares the same reddish sands familiar on this part of the coast and is well serviced with facilities.
A simple but substantial rock stands between Xi and Mega Lakos, the latter of which is a long, thin beach, perfect for catching peace and solitude in the natural environment.
Lots of choice in restaurants
Lixouri has a great range of restaurants mainly serving authentic Greek cuisine but benefiting from a good dose of international influences. Being situated in an active fishing port, fish and seafood can be found in abundance in Lixouri, and with lots of choice, there is also plenty for vegetarians.
If you're looking for authentic Greek food and rustic charm during your holidays in Kefalonia, try Ladokolla stin Plagia in town or Captain Nicolas with its stunning sea views. You get huge freshly cooked pizza on the seafront at Bella Mangia, or, for something to really write home about, hunt down Spiaggia Taverna. Designed to look like a pirate ship, the owner of this Vatsa Beach taverna draws people in, but it's the food that brings them back.
Cityscapes and nature hikes
Lixouri is the best place to see the island's capital without actually staying there. Argostoli sits on the opposite side of the bay to Lixouri with regular ferries carrying passengers across the water. Home to the island's main museums and shopping streets, you'll want at least a day in Argostoli, perhaps two.
Attractions include the Archaelogical Museum, Library and Folklore Museum, Drapano Bridge and Bird Sanctuary. There is a beautiful square hosting a range of tavernas as well as entertainment in the summer months. It's so easy to get to Argostoli from Lixouri, you could just pop over for dinner and late-night drinks.
If you're feeling active there are some beautiful places to hike from Lixouri, both along the coast and inland, as well as opportunities to hire a bike. If you can't make it all the way round to Mount Aenos, there is a closer national park at Oros Kasteli-Blosti, which you drive past on the way from the airport. This designated wildlife refuge can be rocky in some places, so take proper walking shoes to explore the area.